We're baaaaaaaaack. The sequel to our 5 Insane Thrash Metal Drummers compilation is finally here. Last time around we stated the following:
These guardians of the skank beat, these purveyors of double bass bursts, they keep your circle pits running at shows, and your shoes tapping during rush hour. This list isn't a scientific ranking of who's best, but rather a celebration of these hi-hat smashing heroes, and the sweaty work they do.
So feast your eyes on this latest round up of raucous thrash metal drummers. There are big names from iconic legacy bands, ripping modern day time keepers, and a Hulk smash level kit destroyer who just might make your jaw drop. Enjoy!
Megadeth used to fancy themselves as the world’s premier “state of the art speed metal band” [aka: fancy thrash]. When you’re boasting a moniker like that you had better have the chops to back it up. Luckily, Dave Mustaine is a goddamn guitar wizard and usually finds a crew of insane shredders to help him get shit done. Past Megadeth drummers Gar Samuelson and Nick Menza [RIP my dudes] are widely heralded as some of the finest metal drummers, ever. Welp, Mustaine has done it again, because the band’s current drummer Dirk Verbeuren [ex-Soilwork] is playing the shit out the Megadeth catalogue, ripping through classics like “Wake Up Dead” and “Poison Was The Cure” like they haven’t been played in decades!
Warbringer’s human battering ram has been pulverizing drum heads with the band since 2011’s Worlds Torn Asunder. Cruz is renowned for his blazingly fast hands; incorporating sick rolls, ‘wtf’ fills, and rad blasts into the band’s 21st thrash metal attack. Cruz has also done live session work with fellow thrashers Power Trip, as well as the genre mashers in OHM [featuring OG Megadeth shredder Chris Poland]. In short, this dude is down for thrash.
Did you really think the fleet footed drummer of Anthrax wouldn’t pop up on this list? Charlie Benante has been orchestrating mosh pits from behind the kit since 1983 brutha! Calling Benante’s playing style anything short of innovative is probably illegal. The man’s trademark double bass onslaught is the stuff of thrash metal legend. He also used to destroy tempos in iconic 80’s hardcore/crossover masters S.O.D. [where he may or may not have invented the blast beat]. Despite some health issues in recent years that has kept him from touring as actively as before, Benante still turns venues into madhouses every time he gets behind the kit.
Power Trip’s ultra-heavy and absurdly catchy brand of punk heavy, crossover thrash, is all kinds of awesome [read about the band’s recent pool party mosh pit at this year’s Psycho Las Vegas here!]. Naturally, a large part of the band’s sound stems from the maestro behind the cymbals, Mr. Chris Ulsh. Ulsh has been a staple in the underground scene for years, playing guitar in acts like Mammoth Grinder and Hatred Surge [and million other bands!], but his streamlined drumming with Power Trip has helped these Texas heshers blow up in a massive way. Unfortunately, finding hi-def footage of Ulsh drumming with Power Trip is like a rare YouTube unicorn, so here’s footage of the whole band killing it in Japan last year…where you can clearly see Ulsh working that ride cymbal like a champ front and center.
Sepultura was co-founded by one of the sickest thrash drummers in the universe, Igor Cavalera. Once the last Cavalera jumped ship in 2006, the band found a new heavy hitter, Jean Dolabella, to man the drum throne. Long story short, Sepultura has only known killer drummers. Welp, their current basher-in-chief, Eloy Casagrande is, pardon our French, a fucking beast! Since he joined the band in 2011, Casagrande has cranked out two full length albums with Sepultura and elevated their live show to insane new levels. He’s got speed, crazy power behind his strokes [see that stick height? JESUS!] and even injects creative fills into the band’s classic material. Dude has helped reinvigorate 21st century Sepultura, plus watching him play drums is a just a goddamn delight. That’s why Eloy Casagrande is one of the most insane thrash metal drummers around.
BONUS FOOTAGE OF ELOY SHREDDING: